Official Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®
OFFICIAL BALL SUPPLIER OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL®

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Official Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®
OFFICIAL BALL SUPPLIER OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL®

Timeline

Rawlings celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2012, and the year-long celebration will link Rawlings’ storied past with its present-day brand power.

Long before the famous Rawlings’ trademark, “The Finest in the Field®,” appeared in advertisements featuring Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Brooks Robinson, “The Finest in the Field” became the foundation for every product line of the company, most notably Rawlings’ legendary baseball gloves.

Beginning with the original hand wrap model glove in 1887, Rawlings continuously redesigns defense with its long history of technological innovations: from the Bill Doak glove introduced in 1919, featuring a built-in pocket and formed web, to the 6-fingered Trap-Eze® launched in 1960, the most radical design change in 40 years, to 2010 debut of the REVO SOLID CORE™ series that redefines how a glove fits, feels and functions.

But Rawlings’ most famous glove has never been for sale.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® started in 1957 after Rawlings executive Elmer Blasco noticed during a visit to spring training sites that 83% of regular players used Rawlings’ gloves. Since “The Finest in the Field” was the centerpiece of the company’s national advertising campaign, Blasco devised the idea to honor the best defensive players at each position and in each league with the Rawlings Gold Glove Award; at this point in time, baseball’s postseason awards focused almost entirely on offensive excellence.

The following scrollable timeline captures Rawlings’ product innovations that forever changed the game of baseball:

 
  • 1877

    FIRST-EVER FIELDER’S GLOVE

    The original leather hand wrap model, popular until 1886 when the first gloves with fingers were introduced, could be worn on either hand

  • 1899

    REGULATION LEAGUE CATCHER’S MASK

    Made of heavy black-enameled wire and padding faced with specially-tanned horsehide, this original catcher’s mask was “warranted first-class and reliable in every particular”

  • 1901

    NEWLY DESIGNED CATCHER’S MASK

    Touted as “rust-proof, break-proof and injury-proof,” the redesigned construction consisted of heavy, hardened tinned wire frame and large, laced padding

  • 1905

    INFIELDER-SPECIFIC GLOVE

    Designed to increase durability and protection for infielders who handle the ball more frequently than other position players, these gloves added larger, heavier padding around the edges and on the wrist

  • 1910

    10-OUNCE FIELDER’S GLOVE

    Tested the 10-ounce fielder’s glove performance limit set in 1895; today’s gloves average around 24 ounces

  • 1911

    “SURE CATCH” OR WEB-FINGERED GLOVE

    Rendered more durable due to its unique webbing made up of a single piece of leather between the fingers, thumb and palm

  • 1919

    OPEN-VISION MASK

    Afforded a clear and unobstructed view for catchers and umpires with a construction that was stronger and more durable than past models

  • 1919

    BILL DOAK GLOVE

    Paved the future of baseball gloves, featuring a revolutionary built-in pocket and the thumb and forefinger attached to form a web

  • 1920

    CHEST PROTECTOR

    Made of the best quality khaki cloth sewed around parallel reed padded forms, this chest protector eliminated the need for inflatable body protection

  • 1920

    LEG GUARDS

    Manufactured with hard fiber and stiff leather white canvas coverings, these big guards provided maximum protection and flexibility

  • 1923

    BODY PROTECTOR

    Enhanced with extra stuffing and cross-stitched ribs, this leather-bound protector offered more protection than its predecessors

  • 1933

    3-FINGER BILL DOAK GLOVE

    Expanded the famed glove series with this 3-finger design that provided added strength and extra protection

  • 1933

    “JIMMIE WILSON” CATCHER’S MASK

    Made from electric-welded, extra heavy carbon steel, and encompassed with soft, glove leather laced to the frame, the large “spitter” opening of this mask allowed catchers to look sideways as well as forward for the first time

  • 1933

    “SAFETY FIRST” CATCHER’S MASK

    Forged with heavy carbon steel, heavy wire ear guards and leather pads and laces, this mask offered players extra protection as well as the perfect fit

  • 1934

    FIRST-EVER SOFTBALL GLOVE

    Designed strictly for softball, this glove made from genuine cowhide included an expanded length pattern to help secure the enlarged softball size

  • 1941

    DEEP WELL® POCKET

    Introduced the famed “Deep Well®” pocket and featured a leather-wrapped trap later declared illegal

  • 1941

    “RUDY YORK” TRAPPER FIRST BASE MITT

    Proved through statistics that clearly showed this glove was a direct cause of improved fielding percentages

  • 1948

    PLAYMAKER

    Streamlined leather lace finger attachments in a 3-finger design

  • 1951

    FIRST-EVER BATTING HELMETS

    Unveiled the first batting helmets containing three, rubber-padded fiber protectors (one on each side and one at back) to help prevent injury

  • 1954

    MICKEY MANTLE GLOVE

    Introduced extended finger stalls for better finger control; also carried the autograph of the legendary Yankee star to attract fans of the game, not just players

  • 1954

    HEAD PROTECTORS

    Made from hard fiber material and “Aire-Guard” vinyl padding, these were designed to be worn inside regulation cloth caps

  • 1957

    RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD®

    The inaugural RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD® team is announced, including Hall of Fame players Willie Mays and Al Kaline

  • 1958

    DUKE SNYDER GLOVE

    Used the new, Single Lazy “S” pocket lace, which attaches the web to the palm of the glove

  • 1960

    TRAP-EZE®

    One of the most radical design changes in more than 40 years, the Trap-Eze® built-in web increased flexibility and made it easier to trap the ball while giving off a sixth-finger appearance

  • 1968

    FASTBACK®

    Designed for increased glove control and extra protection, the Fastback® closed-back pattern featuring Basket-Web® allowed gloves to be manufactured larger than 12”

  • 1970

    REDESIGNED BATTING HELMETS

    Introduced the 1-piece Lexan-branded polycarbonate shell with double ear protectors, grooved vinyl padding and jaw pads, all designed for optimum comfort and protection

  • 1977

    EXCLUSIVE SUPPLIER OF BASEBALLS

    Rawlings becomes the EXCLUSIVE SUPPLIER OF BASEBALLS TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL®

  • 1984

    SIGNATURE SERIES

    Mimicked the glove designs and autograph stamps of the biggest names in baseball to create one of the most popular product lines in the history of baseball

  • 1989

    GOLD GLOVE® SERIES

    Developed this small pattern infielder’s glove with a non-extensive break-in process, to help players reach in and quickly get the baseball out in order to turn two and catch the runner racing down the line at first

  • 1993

    HIGH PERFORMANCE BATTER’S HELMETS

    Newly created state-of-the-art helmet includes an ABS shell for lasting finish and superior durability, lower ear flaps for greater protection and unrestricted hearing, and Rawlings’ exclusive Ultra Pro Fit™ had band: conforms to the head of the player to create the perfect fit

  • 1995

    RPT™ SERIES

    Incorporated a unique leather conditioning process, providing a rich, supple feel and minimized break-in time, and extra oil treatments increase durability and decrease glove maintenance

  • 2001

    PRO PREFERRED™

    Debuted new series featuring the industry-first kipskin leather, deerskin linings, 100-pound tensile strength laces and 100% wool padding

  • 2001

    OSI FIBERGLASS PROTECTION GEAR

    Fused the latest in medical technology, OSI gear conformed to the body for a custom fit that provided any catcher with ultimate comfort and protection

  • 2003

    OFFICIAL BATTING HELMET

    Rawlings becomes the OFFICIAL BATTING HELMET OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL®

  • 2003

    COOLFLO®

    Launched a new helmet design that added 15 air vents into the helmet shell for increased circulation, optimal comfort and exceptional performance

  • 2003

    RAWLINGS LIQUIDMETAL

    Rawlings announced its strategic partnership with Liquidmetal® Technologies, and the creation of one of the most purchased alloy bat series in history

  • 2005

    RAWLINGS PARTNERS WITH EA SPORTS®

    Rawlings partnered with EA Sports® to launch the Fusion™ bat inside the NCAA-centric video game – the first time a product ever launched to the marketplace inside a video game

  • 2006

    PRIMO®

    Made with fine Italian leather and a handcrafted Dual-Core™ system, this glove series established the worldwide premium-standard in glove craftsmanship

  • 2007

    50 YEARS OF RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD®

    Rawlings celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and the announcement of the anniversary Rawlings Gold Glove Award® team

  • 2010

    REVO SOLID CORE™

    Unveiled this 1-piece palm construction design with a laceless heel; redefined how a glove fits, feels and functions

  • 2010

    pOp® TECHNOLOGY

    Introduced new BBCOR bat barrel technology, Precision-Optimized Performance Technology, used by the University of South Carolina to win its second consecutive NCAA® College World Series® title.

  • 2010

    NRG QUANTUM

    Re-entered football protective headwear market with two new helmets designed for youth, varsity and professional players; worn by some of the best NFL® players in the league today, including All-Pro running backs Steven Jackson, Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson.

  • 2011

    RAWLINGS PLATINUM GLOVE AWARD®

    Rawlings unveils the first-ever Rawlings Platinum Glove Award® fan vote to determine who is the best defender from the nine Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in each League

  • 2012

    125th ANNIVERSARY

    Rawlings introduces the limited-edition 125th Anniversary glove series, including the individually-numbered, 4-model collector’s edition celebrating generations of the industry’s best glove innovations